Morgan City High School made big plays during Friday evening’s matchup with Franklin High School at the St. Mary Parish Jamboree.
The only problem was that costly penalties negated them.
Morgan City finished the evening with more penalty yards (50) than total offense (43) in its 6-0 loss to Franklin.
The Tigers’ troubles started early. On the third play of the game, a 25-yard pass that MCHS quarterback Hoang Nguyen was able to fit in a small crevice past Franklin defender Davonte Joseph to MCHS sophomore receiver Jalen Jones was called back due to penalty.
If the completion would have stood, the Tigers would have had the ball near the Franklin 30-yard line. Instead, the drive stalled after Nguyen was sacked and the Tigers were forced to punt.
Things continued on the first play of the Tigers’ next drive as much of a long run by Morgan City’s Eric Walker was negated due to a holding penalty.
The Morgan City drive again ended in a punt.
“I didn’t think we performed very well, to be honest with you,” MCHS coach Brandon Nowlin said. “Every time we seemed to make a positive play … we shot ourselves in the foot with penalties.”
Not everything was bad, though, as the Tigers held the Hornets to -15 yards rushing and turned away Franklin at the end of the first half when junior quarterback Jarion Brown fumbled a snap from the Tigers’ 13-yard line.
Despite the low score, the Hornets were able to move the ball via their passing game. Brown completed six of 10 passes for 132 yards, a touchdown and an interception.
Franklin’s lone score came on its initial drive when Brown connected with senior Derrick Kelly behind a Tigers’ defender for a 47-yard touchdown pass. Brandon McFarlane’s extra point attempt was no good, but Franklin led 6-0 with 6:27 remaining in the first quarter.
Despite the touchdown and a few other pass plays, Nowlin said he was pleased with what he saw from his defensive unit.
The Tigers’ deepest drive into Franklin territory was to the Franklin 30-yard line, where the Tigers took over twice, once following an interception by sophomore defensive back Keyvon Marsh in the first half and then in the second quarter on a 30-yard completion from Nguyen to senior tight end Luke Marino. Marino’s catch was the Tigers’ longest offensive play of the evening.
Both times, though, the drives stalled on fourth down.
Nguyen completed 1 of 4 passes for 30 yards for the Tigers, while Walker led the rushing attack with nine carries for 32 yards.
“We did some good things, but like I told the guys after the game, the little things are the things that can either make or break a game,” Nowlin said.
As of now, Morgan City’s game against Comeaux still is set for 7 p.m. Friday, but Morgan City Principal Mickey Fabre said if school is closed on Friday, Morgan City would not play this Friday’s game.
St. Mary Parish has announced that schools will be closed Tuesday and Wednesday.